Shatner - 6:49 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
A quick recap of the things we've confirmed so far about most of these "don't fit the mold" sites:
1. Most of them contain high quality content... in the sense that they are well written, not mass produced content farms, and are well respected within their industry. If Google is trying to target content farms, they probably should not have been hit (but were).
2. Most of them contain a high volume of internal links.
3. Most if not all of them use ads mixed in with their content, and do not specifically label the ads as "sponsor messages"... on the other hand ALL of the sites on the winners list do clearly label such ads as "ads".
4. Most of them have a bad content to non-content ratio. In other words only a small portion of their page is actually dedicated to content, the rest is taken up with interior links, ads, widgets, etc. (however it's worth noting that many on the "winners" list seem to have the same issue).
5. Most use tags and have tag index pages which Google may or may not have mistaken for "thin content". (note many sites which weren't hit have these, however none in the winners list do).
Sites examined so far: technorati, cinemablend, blogcritics, popcrunch